Mar. 26, 2011
45. That Darn Cat! (1965)
Starring Hayley Mills, Dean Jones, Dorothy Provine, Roddy MacDowell
Directed by Robert Stevenson
Plot: "A woman is kidnapped. While in captivity, she manages to send a message out with a wandering cat. The cat's owner calls the FBI. The FBI tries to follow the cat. Jealous boyfriends and nosy neighbors also get in the act." (from IMDb)
When Clara posted about this movie a month or so ago, I knew that it looked familiar. I remember watching a similar film when I was about eight or nine…but it was in black and white. That’s happened to me a couple of times—I remember a scene or film that I watched when I was younger but am not sure of the title. I may have to do a post on some of the ones I remember that I haven’t been able to pin down. Maybe someone will recognize them by my description. Gosh, I sound like I have dementia or something! Honestly, when I was younger I just never paid that much attention to the titles we rented from our local video store or borrowed from friends. In any case, I knew I wanted to see this one again, so…
This isn't a 'great' film in terms of artistic merit, but in the vein of the other Disney golden-era family flicks it delivers a fun, light-hearted adventure. This was Hayley Mills last film for Disney and--though this isn't my favorite of her movies--she is just as delightful as always. The plot is fairly simple/predictable and some of the physical comedy induced a bit of eye-rolling from me, but I love the sprinkling of familiar character actors, likable leads, and fun '60s fashion***. Then again, I grew up watching this type of movie, so perhaps the genre just holds sentimental value. :) Either way, I thought it was a cute movie.
***I really should’ve taken some screencaps. The images here don’t do it justice. I just love the breezy ‘60s style in this film, though--lots of bright sweaters, swingy skirts, and flowing headscarves for the women (and of course well-tailored suits and thin ties for the men).
Here are some photos of a few of the many familiar faces in the cast (most images taken from here)
Dorothy Provine as Hayley’s sister. I thought she was just a teensy bit annoying. It was amusing how their parents were conveniently touring Europe. :)
Dean Jones as the likable FBI agent.
Roddy McDowall as the suspicious (and hilarious) boyfriend.
Grayson Hall (the Oscar-nominated actress in The Night of the Iguana) as the woman held captive by the crooks.
Elsa Lanchester playing a VERY nosy neighbor.
William Demarest as Lanchester’s curmudgeonly husband (let’s just say they don’t have the greatest of spousal relationships).
Iris Adrian plays the suspicious landlady (she was also in The Odd Couple and Love Bug).
And as is customary for many ‘60s movies, the film has a title song (sung by Bobby Darin).
For a more in-depth review of this film, I found this. It gives a great write-up of the story, assesses its strengths, and features some more pictures.